Here’s my first shot at planning this journey.
To add a bit of detail the a map, here are the places I feel intrigued by…
Japan – most interested in Tokyo and Kyoto and the temples there. I’ve heard that there is a railpass that is a Good Deal if you buy it outside the country. I also want to visit Hiroshima, for historical reasons.
Korea – friend of mine is the Dean of a business school in Seoul, so hopefully I can visit him and maybe teach a class or two.
China – where to start? Really…I’m asking…where to start??? I’m thinking Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai and Hong Kong for the cities.
Vietnam – I want to do a month here teaching through International Volunteers HQ. Probably spend most of my time in Hanoi, but I also want to travel down the country to Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta. Something about the Vietnam War and how societies and nature heals draws me to want to spend time here.
Cambodia – Still studying. All I can think of is Angkor Wat and some of the temple scenes from the movie Samsara.
Thailand – I’ve heard of amazing tropical bungaloes along the coast, where I can live and for very little money. Who knows something about this?
Philippines – still studying.
New Zealand and Australia – not really sure what I’ll do here, so I’m wide open! I’d like to do some diving in the Great Barrier Reef.
India – another month planned here to teach and hopefully do work with some of my favorite nonprofits – Blue Planet Network and IDEO.org. Fascinated with the history of the founding of Buddhism, so would like to see that. Also, I’ve heard that people sometimes go to India to do a retreat for a few weeks and “get enlightened”. I’m interested in that too.
Kenya/Tanzania/Rwanda – another month of teaching with IVHQ. Want to do a photo safari, to see these animals that are amazing and threatened. Definitely want to take an excursion into Rwanda to see the gorillas – in as unobtrusive and respectful way as I can.
South Africa – just had a great conversation with a fascinating man who leads a school in South Africa for boys, and then places them in colleges in the U.S. More info as it comes available!
Morrocco – still studying, but I love the Middle East and I just don’t want to go there right now – seems like there are other parts of the world that are less…chaotic. However, Morrocco seems calm enough!
At this point in the trip, I’m going to do some purely pleasurable touring through Europe – starting with Spain and Portugal, but making a bee line for Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Really interested in taking a Baltic cruise to include St. Petersburg and fjords!
I’m also drawn to a few other places that didn’t make my first iteration:
Peru – To continue working with the community I taught in last time. Lidia and her organization Tarpuy Sonqo have founded an English school that I want to help with. Thinking maybe a month there. Happy to go back to Machu Picchu if anyone wants, but also want to take a 3 week trip down the Amazon from Iquitos to the Atlantic.
Galapagos off Ecuador – I mean, why not? Gotta find a boat named the HMS Beagle, of course.
Singapore – Still studying. I’ve always been fascinated with the way the society is so organized (10 lashes for throwing gum on the ground!), which seems so different from the U.S. I’ve had some students from Singapore and I’m curious how they find personal happiness within a society that we in the U.S. might call repressive.
Bhutan – Bhutan has the worlds first Gross Happiness Index, and I want to see the people and country that thinks this is important!
Nepal – Highest mountains in the world. Ann Arbor native Bob Seger sang about going to Kathmandu. And the culture, from what I’ve read, is unique being between Tibet and India.
Madagasgar – Still studying.
That’s it! This is the first very post for this blog, and it’s very rough. But I’m excited about getting this going and hopefully persuading a few of my friends to start thinking about joining me!
What can you add to these countries?
What am I really going to regret not doing that is missing on this list?